Jun 19, 2014

Korean Pavilion / Venice Biennale 2014

minsuk cho exhibits crow's eye view of divided korea

kim il-sung square, pyongyang, 2010; photo © philipp meuser
all images courtesy of arts council korea

arts council korea has appointed minsuk cho of seoul-based practice mass studies as commissioner and curator of the korean pavilion at the 2014 venice architecture biennale.responding to the chosen topic of the national pavilions, ‘absorbing modernity: 1914-2014′, ‘crow’s eye view: the korean peninsula’ is configured around four primary themes – reconstructing life, monumental state, borders, and utopian tours.

minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomsejong-ro, seoul, 2014; photo © kyungsub shin

the pavilion is influenced by a poem by korean architect-turned-poet yi sang (1910 – 1937) and focuses on the divided state of the korean peninsula after the second world war. rather than reproducing cliches and prejudices that obscure perceptions of the region, the display presents the architecture of north and south korea as a mechanism for generating alternative narratives that are capable of perceiving both the everyday and the monumental.

minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomahn sekwon, cheonggye stream’s view of seoul lights, 2004 / © ahn sekwon

the pavilion comprises work produced by architects, urbanists, poets, writers, artists, photographers, film-makers, curators and collectors – offering a diverse range of viewpoints. the pieces reference the planned and informal development of the divided countries, revealing the wide range of architectural interventions have reflected and shaped the life of the population.

minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomarchitect unknown, may day stadium, pyongyang, 1989; photographer unknown
courtesy of philipp meuser and the foreign languages publishing house, pyongyang


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomarchitect unknown, kim il-sung university, pyongyang, 1946; 
photo by charlie crane, kim il-sung university, 2006 © charlie crane


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomseok chul kim and franco mancuso, korean pavilion, venice, 1995; 
photo by gabriele basilico / © gabriele basilico


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomgirl running through kim il-sung square; 
photo by chris marker, koreans, untitled #16, 1957 / courtesy of peter blum gallery, new york


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomkim swoo geun, sewoon sangga, seoul, 1968; photographer unknown source unknown

minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomkim swoo geun, model of pompidou center competition proposal, 1971
courtesy of the kim swoo geun foundation


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomji dong-seok, construction of may day stadium, 1988, ink painting
courtesy of the nick bonner collection, beijing


minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomanonymous architect of the paektusan academy of architecture, silk co-operative, 2011; acrylic on paper
commissioned by nick bonner, courtesy of the nick bonner collection, beijing

minsuk cho korean pavilion venice architecture biennale designboomyehre suh, actor map of korea, 2014
© yehre suh



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